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  • Keeping our sharks....at a distance

    Posted 23/01/2014 by Bill McCormick
    In the last three years there have been six fatal shark attacks on popular beaches in Western Australia. In response, the state government announced on 10 December 2013 a program to catch large sharks (great white, bull and tiger) near heavily used beaches off Perth and the state’s South West (from Capel to Margaret River). The government program deploys baited drum lines one kilometre offshore, but this has been opposed by conservation groups because of the incidental catch of non-target species and the fact that the great white shark is a threatened species.



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    TAGS: environment

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  • The Tarkine: more than just a forest?

    Posted 21/02/2013 by Kate Loynes
    Tarkine walks
    Image source: Wikimedia Commons
    The recent statement by Greens leader Senator Christine Milne at the National Press Club that 'Labor has walked away from its agreement with the Greens…so be it', led to the airing of several government decisions that her party was unhappy with. One of the key issues was Labor’s decision on the Tarkine in Tasmania, which she said was evidence that the government gave priority to mining interests.The 439,000 hectares (ha) of the Tarkine includes Australia’s largest tract of cool temperate rainfor... Read more...

    TAGS: environment, mining, national heritage

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  • Commonwealth legislating to ban large trawler

    Posted 13/09/2012 by Bill McCormick
    Image source: AFMA
    The Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Tony Burke, has moved amendments to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) Act. This will give the Government the powers to prevent the trawler, Abel Tasman, from fishing in Australian waters for up to two years while a scientific study on its impacts is carried out. The major issues with the vessel are its large size and fishing capability, which far exceeds any other fishing vesse... Read more...

    TAGS: environment, fishing

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  • New marine reserve proposals

    Posted 19/06/2012 by Bill McCormick
    Image source: Wikimedia Commons
    The Commonwealth is proposing the proclamation of 44 new marine reserves covering a total of 2.34 million square kilometres by the end of the year. The move has drawn criticism from fisheries bodies for excluding fishing in substantial areas of the ocean; at the other end of the spectrum, some conservation bodies were disappointed that the government had not banned oil and gas exploration in areas adjacent to existing marine parks. The proposal for 44 new reserves was released on 14 June 2012 as... Read more...

    TAGS: environment, fishing, marine reserves

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  • Coal seam gas: should the gates be locked?

    Posted 26/09/2011 by Stewart Needham
    Coal seam gas! It’s controversial and in the news every day. Why has it suddenly become an issue? What is going on? The exploration for and development of coal seam gas (CSG) is a relatively new and small activity in Australia, but the size of the estimated CSG resource suggests that it could grow to become a major industry, and an important new energy export sector. But only if it can overcome some problems.  Coal seam gas occurs naturally in most coal seams and is trapped there by the confinin... Read more...

    TAGS: coal seam gas, environment

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  • Proposed Changes to Environmental Protection law

    Posted 26/08/2011 by Bill McCormick
    The principal federal environmental legislation over the past eleven years has been the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). In 2008 the then Minister for the Environment Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett, commissioned an independent review into the EPBC Act. The review was undertaken by an expert panel led by Dr Allan Hawke, and the report was tabled in Parliament on 21 December 2009. The review put forward 71 recommendations. The Australian Government ha... Read more...

    TAGS: environment, environmental law

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  • Raising awareness on palm oil

    Posted 1/07/2011 by Marguerite Tarzia
    On 23 June 2011, the Coalition joined with the Greens and the independent Senator Nick Xenophon to ensure the Senate passed the Food Standards Amendment (Truth in Labelling—Palm Oil) Bill 2011 (the private members’ Bill has yet to be introduced into the House of Representatives). There are two main issues identified with palm oil: the environmental effects of plantations (including loss of tropical rainforest), and the health effects of palm oil versus other vegetable oils. Palm oil is a product... Read more...

    TAGS: environment, food, food labelling, forestry, health

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